Photo attached: Celebratory dessert for 100 days of meditation

I hesitate to write on the most relevant topic for me: today I start a new gig that is the most meaningful work I could undertake outside of this blouse project. And I got there taking a new route – one that brought intense fear and excitement. Following my heart. Trusting that it would lead me to the right thing. Like really doing this. And it worked. And I am dumbfounded. Today I start work developing a strategy of activities an awesome local not-for-profit, Coalfield Development, can undertake to have the greatest impact on the textile industry in West Virginia and throughout the region.

I for one have never been paid to do work I love. It is either love your work or get paid for it – the two never meeting in the middle. But that is not the most interesting part. I shared earlier that I quit my day job back in October. I desperately needed a change. I took a few months off after my mom passed and then really started hitting the job search in January. Doing the normal things – LinkedIn messages to old colleagues, applying to Indeed jobs ect. But all the normal stuff was a bad fit. I wanted to do something different and I didn’t have a job title for it. So one day a few months into the job search I had to admit that it wasn’t working for me. I didn’t have a single interview. And then I had a funny idea: I had started meditating in February. I was journaling everyday. I had never been so in touch with my inner guidance – my heart – ever in my life. So I thought – what if I just woke up everyday and listened to my heart? Did what my heart told me to do. Might that work? Might that lead to the right job? Could I use my intuition?

Most of us have heard this all over the place – listen to your heart. Follow your heart. But would we do it when it comes to our livelihood? When we watch our bank accounts drain? For lots of us it might seem like sound advice until something important is really on the line – our ability to remain solvent for instance. But I decided to try it. I decided to give it until June.

And the craziest thing happened. It worked. I faced the needs of my heart. Put in the time – invested in myself and showed up with everything I had for that quiet voice that is only audible with presence, space, and quiet. I gave the reins over to that voice. And a miraculous thing happened. I ended up talking to this organization in West Virginia. I ended up realizing that I had somehow accumulated 10 years of experience and contacts in the textile industry. 10 years of experience owning a social enterprise. That all the things they needed to figure out what to do in the textile space – I had accumulated over a colorful and varied career in and out of academia, not-for-profits, the private sector, research etc. All the stories about who I am and what I could and couldn’t do fell away through my daily meditation practice.

And then the scariest thing of all happened. It worked. I found myself – pitching myself for a body of work that was an unparalleled use of my talents. I found myself being awarded that work. And now I have to continue into the unknown here and use those same strategies to build it. To answer burning questions I have on behalf of an incredible organization that develops the WV workforce and diversifies the economy in West Virginia by investing in social enterprises. What types of businesses and support efforts will have the most impact on the textile industry in terms of creating high quality jobs and diversifying the economy through businesses focused on sustainability? I am doing it on my terms – a way of working where I get to work the way that is best for me and they get the best of my work.

The point here is that I would now like to shout from the rooftops – or at least from this blog – that following my heart worked. That I’m beginning to believe that there is a concerted effort out there to undermine people’s trust in their hearts. To dismiss it. Because it could be the best possible way to dismantle the power structures that are not working for us. Perhaps. I am cheering you on through the courageous things you do to follow your heart. It is SO not easy – but the power of it is limitless for ourselves and our world.

Go, fight, win.